After a rough week EA seems to have backed off their loot crate cash grab… for now. The company has been under fire since players first got a gander at their convoluted money-hungry loot and unlockable system during Start Wars Battlefront II’s beta. The game has been increasingly ridiculed for bad behavior and pay to win mechanics seemingly wedged into an otherwise fun Star Wars game. Earlier this week in an attempt to curb fan outcry EA took to Reddit to address the criticism directly. This immediately spiraled into its own saga, producing the most downvoted post in Reddit history. This lead to a lackluster, strongly managed AMA that left fans feeling the company had little to no interest in what they had to say about the debacle. But is there a light at the end of EA‘s hell week tunnel?
Late last night the company released a statement in reaction to fan backlash:
We hear you loud and clear, so we’re turning off all in-game purchases. We will now spend more time listening, adjusting, balancing and tuning. This means that the option to purchase crystals in the game is now offline, and all progression will be earned through gameplay. The ability to purchase crystals in-game will become available at a later date, only after we’ve made changes to the game. We’ll share more details as we work through this.
It would appear that at least for now EA has seen how a volatile fan community can effect their bottom line. The most important part of this statement we need to keep in mind is the phrase “available at a later date”. EA is more concerned with their shareholders than they are fans of the games they release. We are still far from seeing their dream of a mobile style pay to win/pay or wait experience ground into dust. More than likely this nothing more than a minor setback like a child that got caught in the act that straightens up as long as mom and dad are watching. I wouldn’t be surprised to see EA give us the Christmas gift of the returning lootbox in the hopes that fans will be hooked enough after the holiday season purchases to throw down more coin for loot gambling.